“Our officers had received periodic complaints about this gang. All police stations in Phuket were alerted to keep an eye out for the gang and worked together to catch them,” explained Col Sujin Nilabodi.
Officers tasked with tracking down the gang were aware that the gang often met near Saphan Hin Park, and traveled to Kathu and Chalong, he said.
They were eventually arrested in front of Toyota Pearl Phuket, nearby Dowroong Intersection in Wichit, at 1:30am last Sunday, Col Sujin added.
As the officers moved in, many of the gang moved to escape, but police managed to take into custody 12 teens – nine young men and three young women – and one adult, he said.
Four of the males arrested tested positive for meth use, Col Sijin noted, adding that officers seized seven motorcycles in making the arrests.
All 13 are one facing charges of illegal street racing and operating modified vehicles, Col Sujin confirmed.
The youths are being charged through the Phuket Juvenile and Family Court, while the adult is being charged through the Phuket Provincial Court, he added.
“They were all fined, and police also called their parents so they could acknowledge that their children were charged,” he said.
“We are still waiting for more comprehensive tests to confirm the drug tests results for the four who tested positive for meth use,” Col Sujin added.
“The police officers at Wichit Police Station are stepping up their efforts to prevent teenagers taking part in street racing. There will be police checkpoints in areas where they are known to gather, we will keep checking CCTV footage in the area, and we will take steps to meet parents of at-risk teens every day,” he said.
“Right now, Phuket doesn’t have big street-racing gangs that close roads like they do in Bangkok, but there are groups of teenagers who do up their motorbikes with modifications and disturb the peace,” he said.